After three seasons on BBC’s long-running hit series Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi has announced his plans to leave the iconic role. He is set to depart the show on the Christmas special episode, which seems a bit cruel. So he’s leaving, fine, we can get past that. Doctors come, Doctors go. Does he really have to ruin Christmas, too?
It’s well known that the Doctor is a regenerating character, and we have see many Doctors over the years. Before Capaldi, David Tennant and Matt Smith were Doctors, respectively. Capaldi has been the reigning Doctor since 2013, and has been widely acclaimed and drawn record ratings for the show in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
The announcement was made in an interview on Jo Whiley’s BBC Radio 2 show. Capaldi said it was time to move on, adding:
One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best. From our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been cosmic.
Capaldi’s last season will also be writer and executive producer Steven Moffat’s last season. Moffat said he is sad to leave what he considers the best job he’s ever had, but added it is a comfort to leave at the same time as Capaldi: “Knowing I do so in the company of the best, and kindest and cleverest of men, makes the saddest of endings a little sweeter,” he said.
The highly anticipated 10th season of Doctor Who is set to premiere on April 15 on BBC America. Capaldi will join the season for 12 episodes, after which he will disappear into Doctor history. There is no news yet of his replacement, though rumor has it that those in the running include Ben Whishaw (Skyfall, Cloud Atlas), Rory Kinnear (Penny Dreadful) and Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd). Our vote is for Ayoade, though we would like to remind readers that the titles “doctor” and “time lord” are gender-neutral, so we wouldn’t mind seeing, say, Helena Bonham Carter at the Tardis helm, either.
Read Paste’s 2015 interview with Moffat and Capaldi here, and check out our Editor-in-Chief’s impressive Tardis soapbox car.